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Language Between Description and Prescription – Verbs and Verb Categories in Nineteenth-Century Grammars of English - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Language Between Description and Prescription: Verbs and Verb Categories in Nineteenth-Century Grammars of English

Lieselotte Anderwald


This book is an empirical, quantitative, and qualitative study of nineteenth-century English grammar writing, and of nineteenth-century language change. Based on 258 grammar books from Britain and North America, it investigates whether grammar writers of the time noticed the language changing around them, and how they reacted. In particular, this book shows that not all features undergoing change were noticed in the first place, and those that were noticed were not necessarily criticized. The features investigated include variable past tense forms, where variation was often simply acknowledged ... More

Keywords: grammar writing, corpus studies, nineteenth century, language change, variation, verb phrase, perfect, progressive, passive, prescriptivism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190270674
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190270674.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lieselotte Anderwald, author